Wondering what to do for the weekend, I jumped on Airbnb to find the most remote Airbnb I could, and I found a beauty.
Only about 2 hours drive from Christchurch is Mt Lyford, which has 4 tiny Airbnb cottages beside a lake. The internet coverage is bad, there is no power (only solar for lights) and the room is tiny - but there was a woodfired hottub!
The road up to this tiny Airbnb is rough, as in, a 4WD is essential. I don't mean a 4wd Subaru Legacy, I mean something capable of getting up some steep loose gravel. This is Jimny country. Tim (the host) is available to pick people up from the bottom of the hill and ferry them up (for $20 per person), but that's not as fun.
The accommodation is near the top of the hill, and about 10 minutes more driving up gets you right to the skifield carpark. Great to see during summer, it's kinda like being on another planet! Very cool that all the gear is there, but not a single person for miles.
In the Airbnb is a fire, which warms the place up quickly. We took our Jetboil and Weber BBQ, which made the stay a bit more comfortable, as it enabled us to have lots of coffee and steak. Essential things to have when exploring like this.
The hottub though, that was fantastic! It's woodfired and takes about two hours to warm up (I'm told it takes more like 3 in the winter here), but it's well worth the wait. We sat out there for hours, amongst the fog, with no internet, no neighbours and not a single care in the world. Heaven.
In the winter, of course, this area is covered in snow, which would be a whole different dynamic. I can't wait to get back up there in a few months time and sit out in the hottub, surrounded in snow, gazing up at the stars.
There are no cooking facilities in the Airbnb, but at the main lodge there is a kitchen that we could use. We took out BBQ, so didn't need their kitchen, and it saved us a lot of walking back and forward. I also recommend you take a Jetboil so that coffee-making is a lot easier. When it's cold outside and you just want a coffee, a trip to the main hut is the last thing you'll want to be doing.
The access road up is rugged with long drops down the side, but the rocks are solid. These tracks are made for the worst weather and high traffic volumes over winter. There is no mud because it's high altitude, so the rocks that the tracks are made from are very stable.
This is a private access road, so only available if you stay in the Airbnbs over the summer months. I'm guessing you need to be a member of the Mt Lyford Ski Area to get access over the winter.
Well worth the trip, what an awesome spot, even if you can only get away for one night. See the accommodation options on Airbnb HERE. Tim is the host, his family own the ski field, he's a very interesting guy to chat with.
Get there early so you can light the fire for the hottub. Enjoy!